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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

GS-III :
  • 13 August, 2020

  • 5 Min Read

Forest loss threatens hornbills

Forest loss threatens hornbills

  • A study based on satellite data has flagged a high rate of deforestation in a major hornbill habitat in Arunachal Pradesh.

Issues:

  • Using fine-scale satellite imagery, changes in forest cover of Papum Reserve Forest (RF) adjoining the Pakke Tiger Reserve as well as a part of Assam affected by illegal felling and ethnic conflict was assessed.
  • Papum RF is a nesting habitat of three species of the large, colourful fruit-eating hornbills:
    • Great Hornbill
    • Wreathed Hornbill
    • Oriental Pied Hornbill
  • Results show the loss and degradation of critical hornbill habitat in the biologically rich forests of the Indian Eastern Himalaya.
  • The data pointed to alarming deforestation rates in Papum RF with the forest cover having declined to 76% of the total RF area.
  • The ecologists assessed the habitat loss due to illegal logging. Illegal logging, has led to fewer tall trees where the birds nest.
  • Also, forests are often under pressure due to agricultural expansion, conversion to plantations mainly after the Forest Rights Act,2006.
  • According to the Global Forest Watch 2020 report, the State lost 1,110 sq.km. of primary forest from 2002-2019.

Note:

  • Hornbills used to be hunted for their casques – upper beak and feathers for headgear despite being cultural symbols of some ethnic communities in the northeast, specifically the Nyishi of Arunachal Pradesh.

Source: TH


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